Category Archives: Featured

Major Arts Festivals Underway in May!

In Northwest Arkansas, we’re an arty bunch, and May is our month to show it off! Two major arts festivals that span the region and the May calendar are happening now, and you don’t want to miss them!

The Eureka Springs May Festival of the Arts and Artosphere: Arkansas’ Arts and Nature Festival both produce a feast of arts talent, variety and experiences. Underway now, they bring artists and communities together in a variety of settings – from art galleries and historic downtowns to a botanical garden, a renowned art museum and bike trails that crisscross the region.

This year, these festivals are bigger and better than ever! They’re a great way for you and your family to experience arts and culture in NWA today.

May Festival of the Arts

MAY FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS IN EUREKA SPRINGS

Through May 31

The 30th Annual May Festival of the Arts is packed with arts and entertainment, including gallery walks, art bazaars, musical performances, culinary experiences, demonstrations, interactive exhibits and more. Featured events include an ArtRageous Parade downtown on May 6 and the White Street Studio Walk on May 19 – where artists invite the public into their home studios.

Nestled in the Ozarks Mountains, Eureka Springs is a colorful arts hamlet with more art galleries per capita than any other city in the country! The May festival lets you tap into the creative vibe running through the historic village, driven by more than 350 working artists in all mediums.

 

 

Here are some of the festival’s highlights:

ArtRageous Parade

ARTRAGEOUS PARADE, Downtown, May 6

Quirky, energetic and sometimes surprising, the ArtRageous Parade is the traditional kick-off of the May Festival of the Arts. Join the stream of colorful floats, art cars, walkers, dancers, musicians, jugglers, drummers and dancers.

DANCE OF DECEIT, The Auditorium, May 7

Produced by local playwright Tom Gorsuch, featuring local actors and on-stage musicians and entirely “Eureka made,” this play is set in three rooms of a seedy motel, where a fun-loving retired couple eavesdrops on two younger couples. With wit and wisdom, they bear witness as lust and infidelity tango with ambition and greed in a dangerous dance of deceit.

Bridge of Love

BRIDGE OF LOVE: MOTHER’S DAY LIVING ART INSTALLATION, Main Street Air Bridge, May 8-14

If you love a mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin or friend, bring fresh flowers to fasten to the Bridge of Love!

NUITS ROSE WINE FEST, May 12-14

The Nuits Rosé Eureka Springs Wine Fest is celebrated at participating restaurants and lounges offering Rosé tastings, flights and pairings to serve with special menu items.

GRAND GALLERY STROLL, Downtown, May 13

Eureka Springs has more than 30 art galleries that line the streets of the historic downtown, which is why the Grand Gallery Stroll is a must-do festival event. Several galleries will host special exhibits for the stroll. Fun is mandatory; purchasing is not!

Art in the Park

ART IN THE PARK, Basin Spring Park, May 13

Come enjoy a day of artistry in every form at lovely Basin Spring Park in downtown Eureka Springs. Artists offering textiles, jewelry, painting, sculpting and fine wood designs will be available all day to discuss their process and medium.

WHITE STREET WALK, May 19

The 27th Annual White Street Studio Walk is held along historic White Street, which is the working address of several local artists who will welcome the public into their homes and studios to view their latest works.

White Street Walk

BOOKS IN BLOOM LITERARY FESTIVAL, 1886 Crescent Hotel, May 21

The 12th Annual Books in Bloom Literary Festival is a celebration for writers and readers alike. Visiting authors include Craig Johnson, Laurie R. King, S.C. Gwynne, Nathalia Holt, and “Pete the Cat” creators, James and Kimberly Dean.

PLEIN AIR FESTIVAL, May 21-25

Plein Air artists and collectors won’t want to miss this multi-day exhibition with pre- and post-festival workshops by Spencer Meagher and Marty Coulter, and an opening reception at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts.

For more information and tickets, visit eurekaspringsfestivalofthearts.com.

 

8TH ANNUAL ARTOSPHERE: ARKANSAS’ ARTS + NATURE FESTIVAL

Through May 20

The 2017 Artosphere Festival presented by Walton Arts Center brings together artists from around the world with dozens of free and low-cost events across the region. Artosphere’s signature event is Trail Mix Weekend, May 13-14, where musicians and artists perform along local trails and the Razorback Regional Greenway, while the musical cornerstone of the festival is the esteemed Artosphere Festival Orchestra.

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS:

Artosphere’s Trail Mix

TRAIL MIX: RAZORBACK REGIONAL GREENWAY, May 13 | Free

Join us for a festive day of fresh air and free entertainment with artists and musicians along the Razorback Regional Greenway, beginning in Fayetteville and ending in Bentonville. Entertainment includes The Bike Zoo Giant Butterflies, Squonk Opera, Claire Lynch and The Séamus Egan Project, and local entertainers Rozenbridge, The Crumbs, Melody Pond and The Sons of Otis Malone. Saturday’s Trail Mix also coincides with the annual Square 2 Square Bike Ride along the greenway. (Fee and registration required for Square 2 Square. Register at visitbentonville.com/bike.)

TRAIL MIX: WALKER PARK, FAYETTEVILLE, May 14 | Free

On Sunday, Trail Mix artists will be featured along the trails of Walker Park in Fayetteville starting at 5 p.m. Then, beginning at 7, get ready for the outdoor spectacle of Squonk Opera’s Cycle Sonic. These giant, animated human-powered stages that sprout bulb-horns, banners and whirligigs, will joyfully circle the audience, propelled by their own original chamber rock music.

 

Artosphere Festival Orchestra

ARTOSPHERE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA

Three Main Performances

Performing under the baton of acclaimed Music Director Corrado Rovaris, AFO is comprised of more than 90 musicians from prestigious ensembles, orchestras and music programs from around the world.

LIVE FROM CRYSTAL BRIDGES: MOZART IN THE MUSEUM, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Great Hall, May 12

From the Great Hall of the world-class Crystal Bridges museum in Bentonville, AFO performs an exceptional all-Mozart program showcasing the musical talents the orchestra’s principal clarinet, bassoon, horn and oboe players as featured soloists. This performance is sold out but will be broadcast live on KUAF 91.3 FM Public Radio.

MENDELSSOHN IN SCOTLAND, Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall, May 17 | Tickets: $10

This opening AFO performance at Walton Arts Center will showcase Felix Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture and Symphony No. 3 “Scottish, and Johannes Brahms’ Variations on a theme by Haydn.

ARTOSPHERE FESTIVAL FINALE, Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall, May 20 | Tickets: $10

This AFO finale concert will present Luciano Berio’s Quattro versioni originali della “Ritirata notturna di Madrid,Antonin Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7, and Avner Dorman’s Frozen in Time featuring guest solo percussionist Mika Godbole.

 

Chapel Music Series

CHAPEL MUSIC SERIES, May 9, 11, 13 & 16 | Tickets: $10-$25

Listen to exquisite music played in local churches and architectural marvels like St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the E. Fay Jones-designed Mildred B. Cooper Chapel, and the Chapel Ruins at Sassafras Springs Vineyard. This year’s Chapel Music Series features the acclaimed Dover Quartet, bluegrass artist Claire Lynch and The Séamus Egan Project. See Artosphere App or artospherefestival.org for times and details.

 

 

OTHER EVENTS AT WALTON ARTS CENTER:

The Painted Garden

COMPAGNIA TPO’s THE PAINTED GARDEN, May 6 | Tickets: $10

Dancers, performers and the audience itself interact with four virtual landscapes each inspired by the colors of the Kurdish landscape.

MOMIX OPUS CACTUS, May 7 | Tickets: $15-$45

Inspired by the flora and fauna of the American Southwest, dancer-illusionists conjure up a world of surrealistic images in this multi-media experience that brings the magic of the Sonoran Desert to life.

The Way Back Home

 

THE WAY BACK HOME, May 14 | Tickets: $10

When a boy discovers a single-propeller airplane in his closet, he does what any young adventurer would do: he flies into outer space and executes a daring landing on the moon!

THE MAN WHO PLANTED TREES, May 19 & 20 | Tickets: $10

This theatrical adaptation of Jean Giono’s environmental classic tells the inspiring story of a shepherd who plants a forest, acorn by acorn.

MORE FREE EVENTS:

Inuksuit

INUKSUIT, Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, May 19

Inspired by the Stonehenge-like structures in the Arctic that the Inuit people used as markers to navigate their space, this expansive community performance is written for 9 to 99 musicians – featuring Grammy Award®-winning ensemble Third Coast Percussion.

AFO: OFF THE GRID, Downtown/Dickson Entertainment District, Fayetteville, May 18

Settle in or move around your favorite local pubs and other gathering places around Fayetteville’s downtown/Dickson entertainment district as Artosphere Festival Orchestra ensembles perform casual “pop-up concerts” for your listening pleasure. Download the Artosphere App for a list of locations.

For details on all Artosphere events, including a complete festival lineup, download the Artosphere App from Google Play or the Apple App Store, visit artospherefestival.org or call the Walton Arts Center box office at (479) 443-5600.

Artosphere: Arkansas’ Arts and Nature Festival

Walton Arts Center proudly presents the 8th Annual Artosphere: Arkansas’ Arts + Nature Festival, May 4-20, at locations across Northwest Arkansas!

Artosphere invites the entire community to celebrate the intersection of art and nature with exciting events that are fun for the whole family. Featuring both free and ticketed performances, events and activities at locations across Northwest Arkansas, Artosphere celebrates artists influenced by nature and provides a creative framework to discuss issues of sustainability. 

New in 2017, Artosphere is launching an app that will be updated throughout the festival with the latest news on featured artists, performances and events. In keeping with Artosphere’s sustainability mission, the new app reduces the use of paper programs and maps, helping minimize the festival’s impact on our environment. Information on how to download the app can be found below.

Artosphere Trail MIx

The annual Artosphere Trail Mix Weekend captures the very essence of Artosphere. For the ultimate outdoor arts experience, audiences hike or bike between stages while enjoying art and entertainment by a variety of artists and acts. On Saturday, May 13, enjoy a full day of fresh air and free entertainment along the Razorback Regional Greenway, from Fayetteville to Bentonville and locations in between. Saturday’s Trail Mix also coincides with the Square 2 Square bike ride along the Razorback Greenway. And on Sunday, May 14, Trail Mix fun comes to Fayetteville’s Walker Park.

 

 

Artosphere Festival Orchestra

With more than 90 musicians from distinguished symphonies and music programs around the world, the Artosphere Festival Orchestra (AFO) is entering its seventh year performing under the baton of internationally acclaimed Music Director Corrado Rovaris, AFO will present three performances: Mozart in the Museum on Friday, May 12, will take place in Crystal Bridges’ Great Hall and will be broadcast live on KUAF 91.3 FM Public Radio. Mendelssohn In Scotland on Wednesday, May 17 and the Artosphere Festival Finale concert on Saturday, May 20 will both take place in Walton Arts Center’s Baum Walker Hall.

 

 

Chapel Music Series

 

Artosphere’s Chapel Music Series brings exquisite music to local churches and architectural marvels like St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the E. Fay Jones-designed Mildred B. Cooper Chapel, the Great Hall at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Chapel Ruins at Sassafras Springs Vineyard. This year’s Chapel Music Series features the Dover Quartet on May 9 and 13, Claire Lynch on May 11 and The Séamus Egan Project on May 16.

 

 

OTHER ARTOSPHERE FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS:

Manual Cinema’s Lula del Ray – May 4

 

An Arkansas debut! Performed with vintage overhead projectors, shadow puppets, actors in silhouette and live music, Lula del Ray tells the story (almost entirely without dialogue) of an adolescent girl who lives with her mother in the middle of the desert. After a chance encounter over the radio, Lula becomes obsessed with a soulful country music duo and decides to run away from home. Inspired by the music of Hank Williams, Roy Orbison and Patsy Cline, Lula del Ray is a mythic reinvention of the classic coming of age story, exploring the themes of loneliness, femininity and the iconography of 1950s and 60s Americana through live cinematic shadow puppetry.

Glacial Shifts, Changing Perspectives: Works by Diane Burko Opens May 4

Internationally recognized artist Diane Burko creates large-scale paintings and photographic series documenting glacial melt and other dramatic changes to the Earth caused by global warming. Working in the crossroads between science and art, Burko captures the beauty and grandeur of vast mountain landscapes and highlights some of the profound transformations taking place in our environment.

 

The Painted Garden

Compagnia TPO: The Painted Garden ­– May 6

Celebrated Italian children’s theater company Compagnia TPO has become known for their visual, emotional and immersive theater that crosses the border between art and play. In The Painted Garden, dancers, performers and the audience itself interact with four virtual landscapes each linked to a different color and inspired by painter Rebwar Saeed’s memories of his childhood in Kurdistan. The audience is led into a digitally created world of astonishing sounds and images, where every movement made alters the visual display as the gardens burst into bloom and life.

 

 

MOMIX

MOMIX Opus Cactus – May 7

Known internationally for presenting work of exceptional inventiveness and physical beauty for more than 20 years, MOMIX is a company of dancer-illusionists celebrated for its ability to conjure up a world of surrealistic images using creative props and costumes, lights and shadows, and the human body. Inspired by the flora, fauna and simple magic of the American Southwest, this multimedia experience brings the Sonoran Desert to life, creating dynamic images of cactuses, slithering lizards and fire dancers. Its visual splendor, wit and sheer physical daring will leave you breathless.

 

The Way Back Home

The Way Back Home – May 14

Teater Refleksion of Denmark presents a story sure to fascinate your little ones! When a boy discovers a single-propeller airplane in his closet, he does what any young adventurer would do: he flies out into outer space! Millions of miles from Earth, the plane begins to sputter and quake. The fuel tank is empty, and the boy must execute a daring landing on the moon. But as it turns out, he is not alone up there… 

 

The Man Who Planted Trees – May 19 and 20

This multi-sensory theatrical adaptation of Jean Giono’s environmental classic tells the inspiring story of a shepherd who plants a forest, acorn by acorn, transforming a barren wasteland. As much a touching tale as it is a hilarious puppet show, The Man Who Planted Trees shows us the difference one man (and his dog) can make to the world.

John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit – May 19

Grammy Award®-winning ensemble Third Coast Percussion returns to Northwest Arkansas to perform John Luther Adams’ expansive work Inuksuit. The title refers to the Stonehenge-like structures in the Arctic that the Inuit people used as markers to navigate their space. Inspired by the stones, Adams composed rhythmic layers within this massive, mobile community performance to represent the structures. Written for 9 to 99 musicians, Third Coast Percussion is currently recruiting community performers for this outdoor evening performance.

AFO: Off the Grid – May 18

Settle in or move around your favorite local pubs and other gathering places around Fayetteville’s downtown/Dickson entertainment district as Artosphere Festival Orchestra ensembles perform casual “pop-up concerts” for your listening pleasure. Download the Artosphere App for an up-to-date list of pop-up concerts.

For a complete festival event listing, visit artospherefestival.org.

Download the Artosphere App – available on Google Play™ and the Apple® App StoreSM. The Artosphere App is compatible with all standard smartphones and tablets. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play is a trademark of Google Inc.

 

For tickets and more information about the Artosphere Festival and a complete event lineup, download the Artosphere App from Google Play or the Apple App Store, visit artospherefestival.org or call the Walton Arts Center box office at (479) 443-5600.

 

 

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Springtime Festivals in Bloom

With spring now on our doorstep, Northwest Arkansas is gearing up with festivals that celebrate the season. Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss these springtime events that make Northwest Arkansas such a vibrant and fun place to be!

Kite Festival

Turpentine Creek’s Annual Kite Festival, Eureka Springs — March 25 — It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the kite festival! Mark your calendars for the 27th Annual Kite Festival at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs. Includes food, vendors, giveaways and more! Experts will be on hand to help kids (and parents!) make their own kites and share flying techniques. The festival is a fundraiser to help Turpentine Creek care for the tigers, lions, cougars and other wildlife. eurekasprings.org.

Springfest, Fayetteville — April 15 — This iconic downtown festival dates back to 1983 when merchants of Dickson Street established a way to celebrate history, culture and the rich flavors of Fayetteville – and it became a late-April staple in no time! Springfest features local arts and crafts, lots of live music, bed races, food trucks, a 5K run and even a dog parade. fayettevillespringfest.com.

Dogwood Festival

Siloam Springs Dogwood Festival — April 28-30 — Held annually on the last weekend in April, this award-winning festival features hundreds of booths filled with handmade, assembled and resale items. Food vendors offer a variety of good eats, performers provide live music and entertainment, and the KidZone keeps the young ones happy and engaged. Also, take part in the Dogwood 5K Run and the Bed Races on Broadway. siloamchamber.com.

Eureka Springs Diversity Weekend — April 7-8 — The LGBT community and Eureka Springs celebrate all that the city’s eclectic downtown has to offer ­­– from gourmet food shops, sidewalk cafes and art galleries, to boutiques, urban trails and turn-of-the-century neighborhoods. eurekasprings.org.

Fayetteville Foam Festival — May 13 — This beer sampling festival for those age 21 and older features local, regional, national and international brews, live music for your listening pleasure, and food trucks serving up their tastiest offerings. You can also join in on the cycling brewery tour for a new and unique way experience craft beer. fayettevillefoamfest.com.

Block Street Block Party

Block Street Block Party, Fayetteville — May 21 — Waiters races, beer gardens, live music and funky characters occupy downtown Faytown for this ultimate Sunday Funday! Plus, you’ll get to visit all the great shops, bars, restaurants and other locally owned and independent businesses along Block Street. See for yourself why come May, crowds are flocking to Block Street! blockstreetbusinesses.com.

 

 

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Epic Off-Road Biking

Whether you’re ripping through the woods on singletrack or flying over a tabletop at our regional jump park, you’ll find plenty of action on Northwest Arkansas’ 200+ miles of mountain bike trails. For more info on off-road biking in NWA, visit oztrailsnwa.com or nwatrails.org.

Mt. Kessler Greenways

MT. KESSLER GREENWAYS – The newest addition to the Fayetteville trail system, Mt. Kessler features technical, challenging trails that wind through massive boulders. As the trail runs along rock formations and hillsides, cyclists can enjoy Fayetteville’s skyline as they climb. Visit mtkesslergreenways.com. 

 

BACK 40 TRAILS – The Back 40 in Bella Vista offers 40 miles of natural surface, multi-use trails that meander through the east side of the city. Completed in 2016, these trails are already gaining recognition for world-class mountain biking. Visit bellavistaar.gov.

 

The Railyard Bike Park

THE RAILYARD BIKE PARK – This slope-style mountain bike jump course in downtown Rogers also connects to the Lake Atalanta trail system. Featuring wall rides, whale tales, concrete lips and more, it’s the only bike park of its kind in this part of the country. Visit oztrailsnwa.com.

 

TRAILS AT LAKE ATALANTA – Ten miles of easy, intermediate and expert mountain bike trails at the renovated Lake Atalanta Park in Rogers include scenic and fast singletracks with swooping bridges, short steep climbs and gravity cavities. Visit oztrailsnwa.com.

 

Sager Creek Trail

SAGER CREEK MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAIL – This new, five-mile mountain biking trail in Siloam Springs runs along Sager Creek, opening into two different trail systems on the north and west sides of the John Brown University campus. The soft surface trail covers terrain with various elevations around JBU’s main campus and has been designed as a gateway trail to be enjoyed by riders of various skill levels. Visit jbu.edu.

 

 

 

LAKE LEATHERWOOD TRAILS – This singletrack mountain bike trail in Eureka Springs takes you around Lake Leatherwood and tests your technical skills as you maneuver through miles of rock gardens. Be sure to come in July for the Phat Tire Mountain bike Festival and join hundreds of riders racing from downtown Eureka Springs to the lake. Visit eurekaspringstrails.com

 

Slaughter Pen Trail

SLAUGHTER PEN MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK – This mountain biking park in Bentonville features more than 20 miles of singletrack, a free-ride park for tricks, and 16 skinny Northshore log rides. Considered easy to moderate to navigate, the trails run through forested and rocky hillsides. Visit oztrailsnwa.com.

 

THUNDER CHICKEN TRAIL – Conveniently located off Interstate 49 in Springdale, the Thunder Chicken Trail is 1.5 miles of singletrack full of fun, flow and jumps. Fully equipped with rollers, berms, drops, wooden features and more, this trail will delight a variety of cyclists. Visit nwatrails.org.

 

Blowing Springs Bike Trail

BLOWING SPRINGS PARK – Six miles of natural surface trail in the southern portion of Bella Vista connects with the Slaughter Pen bike trail in Bentonville. Large bluff faces and streams pouring from the rock faces are part of the magic you’ll encounter on this ride. Visit oztrailsnwa.com.

 

 

 

 

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Sports Action in Northwest Arkansas

Each spring, sports fans flock to Northwest Arkansas for SEC and minor league baseball action at its finest, accompanied by fan giveaways, special entertainment and more. See for yourself what the buzz is all about!

Baum Stadium

Arkansas Razorbacks Baseball

The University of Arkansas’ baseball team returns to the diamond for its 21st season at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville. The regular season runs through May 20, 2017 — with May 14 being the last home game — followed by regionals, super regionals and the College World Series in June (fingers crossed!). Now with the largest video board in the SEC, you’re guaranteed to have the best seat in the house whether you’re on the third base line or kicked back relaxing in the Hog Pen. For tickets and more info, click here.

 

 

Arvest Ballpark

Northwest Arkansas Naturals

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are back at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale for their season opener against the San Antonio Missions on Thursday, April 6. The Naturals, the Double-A affiliate of 2016 World Series champion Kansas City Royals, will play more than 70 home games this season, ending Sept. 4. Watch the Fireworks Spectacular on Friday evenings, win amazing prizes on Premium Giveaway Saturdays, and bring the kiddos to eat free on Sundays. For tickets and more info, click here.

 

Razorbacks Red & White Spring Game

Hog fans will be in Hog heaven at this sneak peek of the 2017 Arkansas Razorbacks football team! As the finale to the spring practice season, fans are invited to the annual Red & White Spring Game on Saturday, April 29 at Donald W. Reynolds Stadium on the University of Arkansas campus. Kickoff is at noon, and admission is free! For more info, click here.

 

 

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May Festival of the Arts in Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs is a vibrant arts community that radiates an eclectic and eccentric vibe like none other – and especially during the month of May, they like to show it off!

Come see for yourself how this quirky hamlet in the Ozarks lives up to its reputation during the annual May Festival of the Arts. The festival kicks off May 2 with more than 75 events all month long.

Eureka Springs has more than 350 artists working in all mediums, and the festival is packed with one-of-a-kind art exhibits, gallery strolls, demonstrations and performances.

Also enjoy culinary arts experiences, live music in Basin Park, and a street party thrown by artists themselves: the 27th Annual White Street Art Walk on May 19 features open house receptions, a street fair, a flash dance and other surprises!

Other Festival Events:

The ArtRageous Parade on May 6 ­– This colorful parade pays tribute to the late artist Max Elbo with the theme ‘ArtRageous to the Max.’ See floats, art cars, walkers, dancers, musicians, jugglers and more as they emerge on the festival scene.

Dance of Deceit on May 7­ – An original play by Five & Dime Drama Collective will be performed at one of Eureka’s most beloved venues, The Auditorium. Locally written, produced and directed this multi-media production featuring area-native musicians is promised to amuse.

Grand Gallery Stroll on May 13 Spring Street Art Galleries hosts this grand affair featuring special artist shows and receptions.

The Eurekan Spectacle An augmented reality experience happening throughout town. Download the free app on any mobile device to participate.

Books in Bloom Literary Festival on May 21­ – The Crescent Hotel hosts this free event featuring a bouquet of renowned authors speaking and reading from their works, and signing books.

Taste of Art ­ After viewing all the exhibitions, connect with the artists at receptions hosted by various restaurants throughout town.

Music in the Park ­– Enjoy free live entertainment by some of the area’s most talented musicians on Saturdays at Basin Park. Bring your dancing shoes!

For more info, visit eurekaspringsfestivalofthearts.com.

 

 

 

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Northwest Arkansas Spring Roundup

Looking for something fun to do this spring in Northwest Arkansas? From cave tours, wildlife watching and exploring the great outdoors, to art, music, culinary, craft brews and more – we’ve got a list of best bets for you and your family to enjoy! Here we go… 

BE AMAZED! Instead of going in different directions with your family’s activities, come together under one roof to explore, create and laugh at this Bentonville tinkering and learning museum, the Scott Family Amazeum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARCHITECTURE BUFFS will dig the classic Usonian style of the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Bachman-Wilson House situated on the woodland grounds of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

 

BEER-CATION! Make your next visit to NWA a beer-tasting adventure! With new microbreweries opening everywhere, brew fests, the state’s only cidery and the Fayetteville Ale Trail, NWA is in the middle of a craft brew boon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SLEEP WITH TIGERS! Well, not exactly, but see the big cats from the deck of your safari suite at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge where they have all sorts of unique lodging options — including a tree house!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GROTTO TOURS Explore the underground wonders of the Northwest Arkansas Ozarks on tours of Cosmic Cavern and War Eagle Cavern on Beaver Lake.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DOWNTOWN SCENE Indulge in art, culture and entertainment during Fayetteville’s iconic First Thursday celebration on the historic downtown square.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OH BABY! A special program each month at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art caters to visitors ages 3 to 24 months. Parents: spend time in the galleries looking at and talking to your baby about art. Follow it up with a fun sensory playtime!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAISY RED RYDER Because a Daisy BB gun is just about everyone’s first gun, there’s the Daisy Airgun Museum. Fans and collectors will love the vintage products and artifacts of this historic company in downtown Rogers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FARMERS MARKETS Browse the season’s best at NWA’s finest farmers markets in Fayetteville, Rogers, Siloam Springs, Eureka Springs, Bentonville, Springdale and Huntsville/Madison County.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THRILL SEEKERS! Soar on a high-flying zipline at Ozark Mountain Ziplines in Eureka Springs, or free fall on a skydive adventure at the Siloam Springs Skydive Skyranch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CATCH THE BEAT at the Walmart AMP in Rogers with an impressive spring concert lineup featuring BLINK – 182; Boston; Train, O.A.R. and Natasha Bedingfield and more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIRST FRIDAYS Meet your friends downtown at the Bentonville Square on April 7 for the First Friday International Fest. Fashioned after European street fairs, see jugglers, fire-eaters, magicians and more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHILI MASTERS Don’t miss the 2017 Arkansas State Chili Cookoff on April 15 in beautiful Holiday Island – with live music, family events and 3K in prize money up for grabs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NAVIGATE THE WATERS at the Siloam Springs Kayak Park. With 700 feet of rapids ranked at Class II and III difficulty, it’s engineered for skilled kayakers and beginners as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOCAL FLAVORS With regional High South cuisine gaining national attention, a new wave of professional chefs are changing the culinary landscape in Bentonville, Eureka Springs, Fayetteville, Rogers, Springdale and Siloam Springs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCENIC PARKS Explore the Ozarks landscape, walk over hallowed ground, camp and hike at the region’s state parks: Devil’s Den State Park, Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park, Hobbs State Park and Conservation Area, Withrow Springs State Park .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HISTORY BUFFS Relive the past of airplanes, retail, the presidency and more at these regional museums: Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, Arkansas Air & Military Museum, The Walmart Museum, Rogers Historical Museum, Museum of Native American History, Clinton House Museum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PADDLE YOUR CANOE or kayak along one of these spectacular nearby rivers – the White, Kings and Mulberry or America’s first national river, the Buffalo National River.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN BLOOM Check out colorful and unique flora and fauna at Northwest Arkansas’ display gardens: Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, Blue Spring Heritage Center, Compton Gardens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DINE AL FRESCO in downtown Springdale at the 2nd Annual Outdoor Street Dinner on May 27. Join your friends and neighbors at this family-style meal that more than 200 people attended last year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FORE! Fancy a round of golf at some of Arkansas’ most beautiful and challenging courses in Bella Vista Village, Holiday Island and Fayetteville.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bentonville Film Festival Brings Movie Industry to NWA

The Bentonville Film Festival returns to Northwest Arkansas on May 2-7, 2017 with an exciting lineup of film screenings, documentaries, studio premieres, panels, parties and more. Be sure to watch for celebrity sightings, too!

Founded by Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis and entrepreneur/filmmaker Trevor Drinkwater, the Bentonville Film Festival’s mission is to create exciting opportunities for women and minorities in film and other aspects of entertainment media.

It’s the only competition in the world that guarantees its winning films distribution to a theatrical release with AMC Theaters, television in partnership with STARZ and LIFETIME, and digital and retail home entertainment with Walmart.

Each year, the festival kicks off a series of events to engage the public in downtown Bentonville and other locations in the region. The events include Family Film Night, a Cinco de Mayo concert, a regional bike ride/movie adventure, and the festival’s signature “A League of Their Own” softball game, which has featured Rosie O’Donnell and Davis in the past.

Last year, the festival drew an impressive 63,000 attendees, and that number is expected to increase this year, too! For more info, visit bentonvillefilmfestival.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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World-Class Art at Crystal Bridges

Crystal Bridges, the world-class American art museum in Bentonville, welcomes an exciting lineup of temporary exhibitions in 2017 – featuring an exploration of sight and sound from the U.S./Mexico border, the work of iconic glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, and a retrospective of early American modernist painter Stuart Davis.

Museum guests enjoy Border Cantos

Border Cantos: Sight & Sound Explorations from the Mexican-American Border — Thru April 24 — Border Cantos is a unique collaboration between American photographer Richard Misrach and Mexican composer Guillermo Galindo, who utilize the power of art to explore, share, and humanize the complex issues surrounding the borderlands between the United States and Mexico. In this exhibition, the artists present works of photography, sculpture and sound that document and transform artifacts from the border. The pieces that make up this exhibition, each with a story of their own, invite spectators to ponder what goes on in this area of the world that might not otherwise be told.

 

Dale Chihuly, Persian Ceiling, 2012, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

Chihuly: In the Gallery and In the Forest — June 3 thru Nov. 13* — American sculptor Dale Chihuly has mastered the translucent and transparent properties of ice, water, glass and neon, creating works of art that transform the everyday visual experience into something truly unparalleled. For this highly anticipated exhibition, Crystal Bridges will present extensive indoor and outdoor installations, featuring completely new works, as well as iconic pieces recognized throughout his entire career. 

Chihuly is known throughout the world for his impressive site-specific installations in public spaces, as well as exhibitions presented in museums, gardens and the outdoors. Come see what’s on display in the gallery, then head down to the museum’s network of trails to discover sculptures that will activate your imagination along the way. Attending this exhibition is sure to deliver a memorable experience! *Both the gallery and forest exhibitions will run thru Aug. 14, with the forest installations remaining on display thru Nov. 13.

 

Stuart Davis, Landscape with Garage Lights, 1931, Oil on canvas, Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester New York

Stuart Davis: In Full SwingSept. 16 thru Jan. 8, 2018 — Stuart Davis (1892–1964) ranks as a preeminent figure in American modern art, with a career that stretched from the early twentieth century well into the early 1960s. Born in Philadelphia, Davis began as an illustrator of the urban life around New York, and after a year in Paris become one of the first American artists to bring the lessons of French avant garde art into American painting. Over his career, he forged a union of international Modernism and uniquely American imagery that continues to influence art being made today.

This major retrospective will focus on three phases of Davis’s work, in which he applied the forms of Cubism to still-lifes and landscapes, and invented a new abstract language that merged the aesthetics of advertising and jazz with language.

 

When you visit Crystal Bridges, don’t forget to check out the gift shop for artful souvenirs! For more information, visit crystalbridges.org.

 

 

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Must See Holiday Lights Displays

Northwest Arkansas flips the switch on the best and the brightest holiday lights displays this season! From dazzling downtowns to breathtaking parades of light, experience the magic of the season during this bright and colorful time of year.

Lights of the Ozarks

Lights of the Ozarks

Lights of the Ozarks, Fayetteville, Thru Dec. 31

The historic Fayetteville square transforms into a winter wonderland of nearly a half-million twinkling lights during the award-winning Lights of the Ozarks! A lighting ceremony on Nov. 18 kicks off this breathtaking display that is cherished by locals and visitors alike. With nightly carriage and pony rides, fresh hot chocolate and festive holiday music, the Lights of the Ozarks is a holiday experience you won’t want to miss!

Christmas Lighting on Polk Square, Huntsville, Nov. 18

The quaint town of Huntsville amps ups the magic on Nov. 18 for the annual Christmas Lighting of Polk Square. Young and old alike gather to watch in wonder as this historic square transforms into something straight out of a holiday movie scene!

Winter Wonderland, Bentonville, Nov. 19

Welcome the holiday season to Bentonville on Nov. 19 with the Winter Wonderland Lighting of the Square! This dynamic nighttime holiday lights display attracts thousands to the historic downtown square. Come celebrate the season and enjoy live music, steaming hot chocolate and the beautiful lights.

The Great Passion Play’s Christmas Drive-Through Lights, Eureka Springs, Nov. 25 thru Jan. 1

After dark, drive the grounds of The Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs for a lights display that is sure to inspire. Enjoy a forest of lighted Christmas trees along the way to the Christ of the Ozarks statue, and celebrate the light of the world!

Eureka Springs Parade of Lights, Dec. 2

This Christmas Parade of Lights rolls through the beautifully decorated streets of historic downtown Eureka Springs with holiday music, floats, parade walkers – and of course thousands of lights! This year’s theme is Welcome to Toyland.

Light Up Siloam Springs

Light Up Siloam Springs

Light up Siloam Springs, Dec. 3

As part of the annual Light up Siloam Springs ceremony, a portion of downtown illuminates in a stunning display of holiday lights when the mayor of the city waves his magic candy cane! Followed by the Siloam Springs Christmas Parade.